Twelve Roane County high school students graduated this year from Roane County Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Academy held at Roane State Community College. The students, representing the county’s five high schools and home-schooled groups, formed six school teams. As a part of the academy requirements, each team will be completing a community service project in the coming months.
The students and their school teams are: Lindsey Seymour and Matt Snow for Harriman High; Shelby Dailey and Hayden Hester for Midway High; Jonathan Cate and Peyton Jones for Oliver Springs High; Hunter McClure and Jordan Zurcher for Roane County High; Kara Brindley and Bryce Laughlin for Rockwood High; and Ian Barnett and Samantha Schaefer are home-schooled.
The 2013 Youth Leadership Academy was held from June 3-7. Throughout the week, the students participated in classes and activities that increased their understanding, development, and use of leadership skills.
“The students were exposed to many aspects of the Roane County community: economic development, health and medicine, government and media are among the topics they learned about,” said Kathy Parks, chair of the Chamber’s Leadership Committee. “The Chamber recognizes that our area’s youth hold the key to our future and the Youth Leadership program has been structured to encourage our youth to become leaders in our community.”
Sarah Hooper is the Academy’s primary instructor and the coordinator of student engagement for Roane State Community College. “We provide students with meaningful interactions outside of the classroom that connect students with their peers and with other members of the community,” said Hooper about the program. “These interactions help students to emerge as leaders in the wider student community. We offer the students opportunities to work collaboratively and effectively with their peers and adult leaders in the community. An important aspect of the academy is for the students to develop a sense of community beyond their schools.”
The students started the week by participating in the Ropes Course at the John Knox Center. The goals of the Ropes Course are to increase a student’s sense of personal confidence and to increase mutual support within the student group. Students participating in the Ropes Course grow both as individuals and as a group.
During the week the students met Director of Roane County Schools Gary Aytes; Chris Whaley, the president of Roane State Community College; Roane County Executive Ron Woody; County Sheriff Jack Stockton; and other community leaders.
At the conclusion of the week, each student team presented their plan for a community service project to be completed during this summer or the coming school year. The projects provide the students an opportunity to apply their skills in a meaningful, positive manner with a focus on valuable life skills of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving.
The Harriman High team project is a Freedom Run. Funds raised through sponsorships will be used to support our veterans through the American Legion Post in Harriman. To support the Harriman High project, contact Principal Scott Calahan at (865) 882-1821 or [email protected].
The Midway High team project is a Run for Operation Reach. The team will conduct a 5K run to raise money for Operation Reach and the funds raised will be presented during half time at a MHS football game. To support this project, contact Principal Scott Mason at (865) 376-5645 or [email protected].
The Oliver Springs High team project is Project Pick-up to clean up the litter on the streets of downtown Oliver Springs. The project will start in October and end in May 2014. To support this project, contact Principal Jeff Woods at (865) 435-7216 or [email protected].
The Roane County High team project is the Field House Beautification at the football field. They will paint the yellow jacket school mascot on the interior walls of the field house, paint a “power K” on the outside wall, and replace the main stadium sign. The project will increase school spirit and improve the overall appeal to the school. The desire is to present the new stadium sign at a football game this year. To support this project, contact Principal Lance Duff at (865) 376-6534 or [email protected].
The Rockwood High team project is The Christmas H.U.G. The “HUG” stands for Hearts Understand Giving (H.U.G) and aims to provide East Tennessee Children’s Hospital with the money to entertain the children of East Tennessee during the Christmas season. The money will be used to provide gifts: toys, electronics, board games, etc. The project will begin this summer with collections made through December; donations are given to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. To support this project, contact Principal Alan W. Reed at (865) 354-0882 or [email protected].
The home-schooled team project is a canned food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank. At the beginning of the school year, containers will be placed to collect donations; business sponsorships will be sought. From October to December, canned food will be collected for the homeless and needy. The week before Thanksgiving and Christmas, food will be delivered to the Second Harvest Food Bank. To support this project, contact Sarah Hooper at 865-882-4638 or [email protected].
The Chamber is a partner in The Roane Alliance—Roane County’s economic development organization. The partners who operate under the Alliance umbrella along with the Chamber include the Industrial Development Board and Visitors Bureau.